The GERS public spending and revenue figures for 2022-23 were published today. Here’s what they mean:
Scotland’s deficit is equivalent to 9% of GDP, while the figure for the UK as a whole is 5.2%. Sturgeon once pinned hopes for independence on closing the deficit gap. Today’s figures show that that plan has failed.
More broadly, one statistic is no basis on which to decide a nation’s future, and the long-term structure of the economy and spending has to be considered. The short-term uplift in oil revenues must also be seen in this wider context.
The SNP have long based their flawed economic case for independence on volatile oil prices. Their argument is even more precarious as we respond to the climate crisis and transition to renewables.
The statistics clearly demonstrate the benefits to ordinary Scots in the UK – spending per person in Scotland is £2217 higher than the UK average. All of that would be lost on day one of independence.
As the SNP desperately try to spin the statistics to their advantage, the benefits of remaining in the UK and the fatal flaws of the case for independence are clear.
If Humza Yousaf wants to make the case for independence, he needs to be honest about the consequences for public services in Scotland.
Those who support independence are being badly let down by the incompetence of their leadership and their refusal to engage with reality.